Print

Print


On Wed, 28 Feb 2007 11:20:28 -0800, Wayne S. Rossi 
<[log in to unmask]> wrote:

>Looking at some of the material Bob posted about
>Occidental, I have to admit that I had some curiosity
>about the language but find it off-putting.  I
>generally find that the auxlang proposals that are
>less naturalistic in their approach than Interlingua
>tend to have a distinctly repulsive effect, though
>Interlingua doesn't, and curiously, Esperanto also
>doesn't.

The "Uncanny Valley" is much the same as what I've called the "Rube Effect": 
a feature of a system that makes me feel illiterate for using it. I referred to it 
in the post "Not-so-Great Expectations" a few weeks ago. My point was that if 
there is a slight resemblance between the new system and ones already 
known, you can accept it as coincidence and use it as a mnemonic, but if the 
resemblance is great, then any deviation will be perceived as an error.

Thus the "Romance" aspect of Eo is fairly low, so it doesn't bother me when it 
does something non-Romance. But when Ia does something non-Romance, 
such as not having multiple negation (which Occidental does allow), it not only 
seems wrong, but almost deceptive: I feel set up, taken in by its Romance 
appearance. Because Occidental doesn't look entirely Romance (the 
pronoun "it," past tense in -t, "lass," "mey," etc.) I may find it annoying, 
perhaps, but I don't feel deceived.

I once wrote that when you visit Interlingua, it answers the door in a Romance 
mask, ushers you inside, exchanges pleasantries, and goes to get you some 
tea. Then it pours the tea on your head and reverts to the mask. "Is 
something wrong?"

When you visit Occidental, it resembles some Romance languages you've 
known, but it looks more like a creole of Romance and English. It almost 
immediately slaps you in the face, says, "I'm *not* Romance," and then invites 
you in and is a gracious host. In other words, it establishes independence 
early on, and you either accept it or leave. Interlingua maintains a Romance 
guise most of the time, only to do something really alien when you aren't 
expecting it.

This is why I kept seeing native speakers of Romance languages trying to fix 
Ia: when you try something that seems odd, even though the grammar may 
specifically permit it, you're wrong. You cannot really say "Ille vide me," even 
though it's technically allowed (it is completely acceptable as "Il vide me" in 
Occ).

Limit expectations to levels that work mnemonically, but establish 
independence early on to prevent "fixing."

Steve